Dera Benson at Shining Lights

Dera Johnson stands in a playroom in the new home for Shining Lights Children’s Program at 409 E. Caledonia Ave. in Hillsboro. The center expects to open for kids year-round starting in January.

For Dera and Eric Johnson’s four young children, “home” may have a slightly different feel from now on. 

Starting in early January, the Johnsons are beginning year-round child care services out of the family’s former home at 409 E. Caledonia Ave., across from Hillsboro High School.

Though the Johnsons moved just a block away from their previous house, the couple has been hard at work converting their residence of nearly 12 years into a home away from home for their kids and more.

“It’s really weird,” Dera says with a laugh in a playroom inside the couple’s former home. “I don’t think our kids have really grasped yet that this isn’t their house anymore.”

The journey to renovate their former home into a child care center has been several years in the making for the Johnsons.

Shining Lights Children’s Program, which Dera began in 2019, previously offered summer in-home child care at two Hillsboro homes before moving to the Our Savior’s Lutheran Church parsonage along East Caledonia Avenue for the past two summers. 

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